Failure and the Importance of Taking Breaks

It’s been almost a year since I spent a long-weekend at the start of 2016 at Montfair Resort Farm with dear friends and fellow entrepreneurs. Our focus was simple. We were there to be in service to one another and our businesses. It was the second time we convened for our Entrepreneur’s Getaway and 3.0 is already on the books for the start of 2017. (Woot!) Reflecting on this experience – and all that has emerged in its wake – reminds me all over again about how important it is to take a break and reset and recharge. Especially with good friends who are also committed to unleashing their creativity and growing their businesses too.

Chilling and Writing


We worked hard at our last retreat. We got up early, we brainstormed, we put pen to paper, we worked through details of the plans we were hatching up. I was percolating on some new ideas for Point Road. I couldn’t quite articulate what I wanted that was different, but I was noticed that I was feeling called to write and create more. I wanted to challenge myself creatively and to put my own voice out into the world more. For the sake of spreading the Design Yourself spirit. I don’t think I would have gotten to this understanding on my own. The retreat really inspired me to lead more boldly into the coming months.

Sharon Thinking with Hands_Entrepreneurs Getaway 2.0

SL and CO Fireside Chat_Entrepreneurs Getaway 2.0

Me and the superstar ladies behind StoryMinemedia and The Maley Group started this retreat tradition back in 2014 as an experiment. In fact, the impetus for taking our first retreat together was to cover a business failure. Me and another of our quartet had planned to run a retreat that weekend, but participation wasn’t shaking out as we had hoped. We’d already booked a beautiful retreat site and we had to figure out what to do now that we were cancelling the retreat-as-planned. We knew we had the option to move our rental to another point sometime in the next year. But something told me, no. It told me stop.

Taking Action Taking Pause Post It

It was unusual of me to admit it out loud (I tend to go-go-GO-GO!), but when we needed to make the call, I said to my dear friend and collaborator: “It honestly feels like a relief not to be in service to others all weekend. What I really feel like I need right now is to be in service to  myself.” I was nigh on my third trimester with baby number 2 and had experienced the devastating and shocking loss of my older brother just 6 months prior. With her full support and creativity, we made the switch. Instead of hosting a retreat for others, we’d create a retreat for ourselves. For some this could have appeared to be a failure. We’d planned a launch of a new product, but we were putting that on hold. And instead we were incurring some not-insignificant costs just for us. But, that’s kind of the point.

Sometimes we just need space for ourselves. We need time to let our ideas percolate, our bodies rest, and our souls get inspired. Big, transformational ideas don’t tend to surface while we are sitting behind a desk checking email. We’ve got to make taking breaks part of our business-as-usual. For the sake of the business! And we’ve got not just to accept, but EMBRACE failure when it comes our way. When the unexpected path – the path you really didn’t want to show up – presents itself at your doorstep, don’t ask, “Why me?” Ask instead, “Why not?” Or better yet, “What’s offered here?”

Entrepreneurs Getaway Team_1.0
Here we are at the very first Entrepreneur’s Getaway. It’s so fun to imagine how much our businesses – and lives! – have evolved since this was snapped 2.5 years ago. (Fun fact: We had one child among our group at this time, with two more on the way. Today there are 6 little bits runnings around…with one more on the way!)

I left the retreat at the start of the year with a whole new vision percolating for – which had been up until that point a few landing pages to share some general ideas about the business. What I wanted was to create a space for sharing ideas and building community. For challenging myself personally to put my ideas out into the universe and see what might come back. Maybe I’d actually go for it and create the podcast I’d been dreaming about for years. Maybe I’d start writing again. Well, here we are nearly 12 months later and the new site is officially live. The podcast is about to publish it’s 25th episode. And I’m finally getting back into my writing groove. My voice feels a little rusty, but I’m dusting her off anyway and going for it.

Because why not? We get this one, beautiful life to live and make our own. Fail forward, my friends, fail forward. And don’t forget to take a break on the way down.